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News Article
Fred Smith QCís response to the Attorney Generalís statement on charges against him

I have read the Attorney-Generalís press release about the criminal charges brought against me. She makes clear the charges, which I believe are entirely, obviously and transparently manufactured and bogus, were brought by the Police without reference to her and without legal advice from her office.

The Attorney General has stated...

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Business Listing

Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs
Government Offices
  • East Hill Street , Post office Bldg. (7th floor)
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Office Of The Attorney General
Government Offices
  • Regent Cntr Nth Suites 2&3
  • Freeport
  • Grand Bahama, Bahamas
News Article
Attorney General meets with Photographer's Association

Nassau, Bahamas - The officers and members of the Bahamas
Professional Photographers and Videographers Association (BPPVA) met
with Attorney General Sen. Allyson Maynard-Gibson and senior Ministry
officials at the office of the Attorney General on Monday, 11th March
2013. Pictured from left are Archie Nairn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry
of Legal Affairs and Attorney General Office; Deborah Fraser, Director
of Legal Affairs; Andy Adderley, BPPVA member; Kemuel Stubbs, BPPVA
President; Hon. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Attorney General and Minister of
Legal Affairs; Portia King, BPPVA Vice-President; Kenny Love

...

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News Article
Bahamas Christian Council Calls On Attorney General

Nassau, Bahamas - Members of The Bahamas Christian Council pay a Courtesy Call on the Attorney General, Allyson Maynard-Gibson and senior members of the Attorney General's Office, East Hill Street, January 14th, 2013 ...

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News Article
Office of Attorney General discusses Anti Crime Bill with religious leaders

Nassau, The Bahamas -
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs the Hon. John Delaney
along with senior officials of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
entertained questions on the anti-crime Bill fielded by leaders of the
religious community during a meeting Wednesday.

Mr. Delaney explained
that the objective of the meeting was to answer questions with respect
to the anti crime package tabled in the House of Assembly last week
and for which Parliamentarians began debate yesterday. This is the second
meeting with religious leaders that the OAG has organised for the year...

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News Article
Civil Society Bahamas engaged by Office of Attorney General

Nassau, Bahamas -

Civil Society Bahamas, in keeping with its
current operational theme, "Re-education, Training and Development,"
recently engaged with the office of the Attorney General. Personnel from
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration were also present. 
The purpose of the meeting was for Civil Society Bahamas to assist
further with the generation of the country's annual report (Universal
Periodic Review) to the United Nations on human rights issues.

 

During
the meeting, Senator the Honorable Allyson Maynard-Gibson and team
members facilitated an up-date of the representation made at the United
Nations. She thanked Civil Society Bahamas for its contribution to the
final report...

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News Article
Attorney: Send records dispute to arbitration

An attorney has argued that the legal profession and the public are being disadvantaged by a continuing court battle between a company hired to digitalize court records and the government, suggesting that the case should go to arbitration to avoid further delays.
The lawyer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it appears, based on court documents obtained by this newspaper, that politics may have led to the breakdown of the digitalization project. The attorney added that every effort should be taken to ensure that public access is given to any digitalized records that might exist.
The source's comments come after Guardian Business investigations into the state of the Supreme Court Registry's cause lists and files revealed that a company signed a contract to digitalize the records in 2011.
Benchmark Publishing Company Limited (BPC) was contracted to undertake the scanning, conversion and generation of a searchable database of court records including Supreme Court cause lists and judgments, but claims in a lawsuit that it was hampered in completing its work by a decision by the Registrar of the Supreme Court to order staff to stop providing it with court documents subsequent to July 2012. The contract was a continuation of earlier contracts which provided for it to complete the work in phases.
BPC sued the Attorney General's (AG) Office in late 2012 over alleged breach of contract, unpaid payments said to amount to $560,000 and damages in connection with the matter.
The AG's Office, in a counterclaim, asserted that BPC had not provided key deliverables under the contract. It called for damages for the government over the matter. BPC's president is Aaron "Kiki" Knowles, a close friend and advisor of former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
The attorney said of the matter, which was revealed for the first time in Guardian Business yesterday: "You're holding everyone to ransom because you want to prosecute this guy because of his political background. It's so unconscionable if the public has already paid, with public money, for these records to be digitalized, and the records are there. Just let us see them."
They added that the case "might be a good thing to submit to arbitration."
"If you submit it to arbitration, you can get a quicker and cleaner result, and you can stop wasting public money pursuing a legal case which may or may not have any merit."
Last week, legal sources expressed concern over the state of the court records, suggesting that they are in a "shambles". Guardian Business investigations revealed that the Supreme Court cause lists are in a severely deteriorated state, with covers, indexes and even portions of the lists themselves missing or degraded.
This impinges upon attorneys' ability to use the cause lists to generate reliable opinions on title as part of the conveyancing process, given that the cause lists must be searched in order to determine if a property vendor has any liens against their property that should block a sale.
Yesterday, another attorney who handles conveyancing matters suggested that the cause lists and court documents, "paramount" to giving opinion on property title, may have even fallen victim of intentional interference by unscrupulous attorneys or members of the public.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, this attorney argued that by being available in a non-digitalized paper format with easy access by attorneys and other individuals, it is widely believed that this has allowed sections of the records to be intentionally made to go missing.
"It's available to the public, and there are some unscrupulous individuals out there. There are measures in place for people to supervise and oversee the possession of the files, but when documents are available, and any time your only record is a paper record, and that's available to the public, attorneys, and otherwise, there is an opportunity for them to be mishandled."
The source added: "The registry itself has always been susceptible to interference. It is without doubt that almost every law office has either heard or experienced first-hand where a page from a file is either not in the file, or a page from the cause list book is missing; so having an electronic system is something we could've benefited from years ago."
Guardian Business attempted to reach Supreme Court Registrar Donna Newton for comment. On the first occasion last week, Newton was said to be out of office, while on the second, yesterday, phone lines went unanswered at the registry.
Minister of State for Legal Affairs Damian Gomez has argued that the government will "intensify" efforts to address the state of the court records later this year.

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News Article
Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade visits Attorney General

Nassau, Bahamas - Attorney General and
Minister of Legal Affairs Sen. the Hon. John Delaney welcomes Ellison
Greenslade Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade and senior officers during
a courtesy call December 9, at the Office of the Attorney General, Post Office
Building. Pictured from left: Anthony Ferguson, Asst. Commissioner; Marco
Rolle, Under Secretary; Vinette Graham Allen, Director Public
Prosecutions; Minister Delaney; Commissioner Greenslade; and Paul Rolle,
Superintendent...

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News Article
The ideal governor general - part 3

In part one of this series, we reviewed some of the qualities that we should expect to find in the holder of the high office of our governor-general. Last week, we looked at some of the special considerations that were made in the selection of our first five governors, namely Sir John Paul, Sir Milo Butler, Sir Gerald Cash, Sir Henry Taylor and Sir Clifford Darling.
This week, we would like to Consider This...what special considerations were made in the selection and what were the unique characteristics of the remaining governors general who served between 1995 and the present day?
Sir Orville Turnquest
Sir Orville Turnquest, one of the early members of the Free National Movement (FNM) and a former member of Parliament, attorney general, minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister, served as the nation's fifth governor general from January 3, 1995 to November 13, 2001. He was the first governor general to be appointed by an FNM government and Bahamians from both sides of the political divide will agree that he served with distinction and was, at the time of his appointment, perhaps uniquely qualified to reside at Mount Fitzwilliam.
Sir Orville introduced outstanding works by Bahamian artists to Government House and significantly upgraded what had become a somewhat dated home for the head of state. He traveled extensively throughout The Bahamas and abroad and spent many hours visiting school children in their schools and entertaining them at Government House. Perhaps more than any of his predecessors, he "opened" Government House, and all who were invited there were impressed by the style and elegance he exuded in hosting his guests.
Notwithstanding his long political career, mostly in opposition, Sir Orville transcended political partisanship in office and exemplified a nationally unifying force, notably by his involvement with One Bahamas activities.
Sir Orville fulfilled his duties with elegance and aplomb that elevated the office to new heights; while in office he exuded a degree of savoir faire that made us proud to be Bahamian.
Dame Ivy Dumont
Dame Ivy Dumont, the sixth governor general, served from January 1, 2001 to November 30, 2005. A celebrated educator and financial services professional, after the FNM won the historic election in 1992, she served simultaneously as leader of government business in the Senate and as minister of health and environment. She subsequently served as minister of education and youth.
Dame Ivy exuded an unquestionably matronly persona, and her humility and soft-spoken but confident demeanor equipped her to mark an historical moment by being the first woman in The Bahamas to hold the office of governor general.
A devout Christian, Dame Ivy's beliefs strongly influenced her interaction with people from all walks of life; during her term as governor general, she confirmed former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham's description of her as "a true representative of Bahamian womanhood at its best".
Arthur D. Hanna
Arthur D. Hanna, a former PLP member of Parliament and minister of education, home affairs and finance, served as the seventh governor general from January 31, 2006 to April 14, 2010. He, too, was extremely qualified to hold that office because Hanna is regarded as among the greatest Bahamians to have straddled both the 20th and 21st centuries.
In 1967, when the Progressive Liberal Party first won Majority Rule, Hanna became the deputy premier and later deputy prime minister, a position he held until he resigned from the Cabinet in 1984. Early in its administration, the new PLP government focused its attention on education, fully embracing and implementing it as a tool for national development.
During his tenure as the minister of home affairs, Hanna led the development of the government's landmark Bahamianization policy - perhaps his most prominent legacy - which laid the foundation for taking Bahamians out of the back rooms of banks, insurance companies and the other businesses and propelling them to the highest positions in the executive suites, the board rooms and ultimately greater participation and ownership in our economy. That an individual of Hanna's nationalistic fervor so vehemently, vociferously and visibly opposed to British colonial rule would have eventually consented to ascend to the pinnacle of political power in our country as the very representative of the Sovereign who personified colonialism remains an enigma to some. But he always maintained that, while he opposed colonialism, he and his colleagues, on both sides of the political divide, always fully accepted the monarchy, as was embodied in our own constitution, which he co-authored. Hanna never accepted a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II, and today remains the only soul to have not done so before ascending to become governor general, an office which he executed with pride and proficiency.
Sir Arthur Foulkes
The current occupant of Government House, Sir Arthur Foulkes, serves as our eighth Bahamian governor general, assuming office on April 14, 2010. Like few others before him, most notably Sir Milo, Sir Cliff, and Hanna, Sir Arthur is one of those individuals who has attained the status of "father of the nation" or "hero of the revolution". He served as minister of communications and minister of tourism in the first Pindling administration, before departing the PLP as a member of the Dissident Eight to assist in the formation of the FNM. Sir Arthur has wide international and diplomatic experience, having served as Bahamian ambassador to the Court of St. James, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the European Union; he was the first Bahamian ambassador to China as well as the non-resident ambassador to Cuba.
Although he has only served four years to date, right-thinking Bahamians will agree that Sir Arthur has been among the best governors general to have served The Bahamas since independence. He has fulfilled his duties with a distinctive kind of Bahamian flair, grace and style. He has demonstrated an ability to unite Bahamians from all walks of life, to transcend political partisanship and to represent the interests of all Bahamians without fear for or favor of political preference.
In fact, Sir Arthur has excelled so magnificently in office that Bahamians should encourage the prime minister to persuade Sir Arthur to remain on for a few more years, given his robust health and acute acumen for executing the office. Although Sir Arthur has advised the prime minister that he is prepared to demit office this year if the former wishes him to do so, this would be a good time for Bahamians, in a demonstration of support and approval for his stellar performance, to urge the prime minister to ask Sir Arthur to remain in office for a little longer.
Taking such an historically decisive action, the prime minister would negate the fallacy that governors general should be changed when governments change and would introduce into our body politic a maturity that has been sorely lacking and urgently needed. Christie can rectify the unpardonable precedent set by his former arch-rival, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, who politicized the office of governor general beginning with his shameful treatment of Sir Clifford in the matter of the Speech from the Throne.
Conclusion
As The Bahamas continues to mature, it is vitally important that we recognize the early contributions to nation building that have been made by those men and women whose unwavering commitment has advanced The Bahamas. It is equally essential that our next governor general be an individual who does not strongly represent or identify with any single constituency or interest group.
In the final installment of this series, we will examine the tenures of governors general in other major English-speaking Caribbean countries with a view to learning from their experience how to once again de-politicize this office.
o Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis and Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to pgalanis@gmail.com.

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